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MA Curating

Course Description

This programme, delivered by School of Arts and specialist visiting lecturers, develops your skills and provides experience relevant to a career in curating.

Based at the School of Arts Studio 3 Gallery, you are involved in all aspects of the running of the Gallery. You work closely with partner organisations such as Canterbury museums and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

You have the opportunity to develop your own project, working within the Gallery’s exhibition programme.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/96/curating

About the Department of History & Philosophy of Art

The History & Philosophy of Art Department within the School of Arts, provides opportunities for graduate study with well-established researchers in the fields of art history, philosophy of art and aesthetics. Staff research covers contemporary art and aesthetics, modernism, theories of art, the historiography of art and the Cold War; biographical monographs, the photograph (in its historical, contemporary and critical contexts), and the historical interplay of image, theory and institutions from the Renaissance to the present (especially European and North American).

Developing areas of interest include the cultural and historical significance of the print, and the role of performance and new media in contemporary art practices, which draw upon our links with other subjects within the School of Arts and the Faculty of Humanities. In particular, postgraduates have the opportunity to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary Aesthetics Research Centre and the Art History and Visual Cultures Research Centre. There is also a full programme of visiting speakers from across the constituent subject areas within the School of Arts, which includes Film and Drama.

Course structure

Compulsory modules provide an overview of the history of collecting and exhibitions through a series of case studies, taking advantage of our proximity to major London collections. We also cover theoretical issues relating to curating and museology.

Optional modules focus on providing practice-based opportunities for developing curatorial skills.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

HA826 - History and Theory of Curating (30 credits)
HA827 - Curatorial Internship (60 credits)


Assessment is through a combination of coursework essays, critical logbooks and practice-based exercises. A long dissertation is required for the Exhibition Development and Design module.

[[Programme aims
This programme aims to:

- create and interpret knowledge at the forefront of the discipline through the development of critical, conceptual and practical abilities

- develop a self-directed programme of practice and related research

- contextualise and theorise practice in relation to, and through critical evaluation of, the work of contemporary practitioners and leading researchers within the discipline

- develop a comprehensive understanding of methodologies applicable to independent research

- develop autonomy in practice work within a context that fosters collaborative learning

- sustain an advanced practice that encompasses the disciplines of writing, discussion and producing practice-based outcomes

- achieve high-level skills and competencies as a preparation for professional practice and further development in the field of curating

- embed your research within the context of the University and utilise the resources offered in the research environment such as staff expertise, symposia and colloquia

- develop public outcomes outside the University in a range of formats

- attract students from a diversity of arts contexts and contexts that inform artistic practice, including fine art, history of art, sociology, journalism, English literature, film studies architecture and philosophy

- attract intellectually able and talented students who are enquiring, open to experimentation, discussion and collaboration as well able to work independently

- provide a forward-thinking, dynamic learning environment that responds to the current climate of debate and production in the arts.

- forge an international identity within the field of study through developing partnerships with international universities and non-HEIs

- support specialism and progression by allowing students to opt for specific routes of study that include curating, art history, cultural history, arts management, conservation or museum studies.

Research areas

The Department has a collective interest in developing interdisciplinary projects, including projects informed by art history and philosophy of art or aesthetics. Shared areas of research interest include: photography, art theory from the Renaissance to recent times and contemporary art.


Arts postgraduates have gone on to work in a range of professions, from museum positions and teaching roles to marketing and gallery assistants. Our graduates have found work with Tate Britain, the V&A, Museum of Childhood and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the MA Curating page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Michael Healey

I graduated with confidence, believing that I had the necessary skills and experience to work in the fiercely competitive art world. Indeed, having befriended the artist Humphrey Ocean, I undertook an internship with him, archiving his work – a hugely enjoyable and invaluable experience, which I am continuing with.

As a result of writing on average two essays per module, and reading the work of other art theorists and critics, the degree also improved my writing style considerably. Indeed, in a positive review of Krikey! Kentemporary Prints (an exhibition I curated as part of my degree) which appeared in the scholarly print journal Print Quarterly, Paul Coldwell singled out the catalogue essay I wrote for particular praise. The ‘Print Collecting & Curating’ module, for which I curated the aforementioned exhibition, has had the most profound effect on me, both in terms of personal development and employability. As regards the latter, as well as archiving for Humphrey Ocean, I was put in touch with an art dealer, on whose behalf I have been selling artworks, from 19th century political prints to modern and contemporary paintings. In so doing, I have sold to museums, galleries, societies and universities.

My biggest success so far has been turning a £600 investment into over £11,000 profit. I
am in the process of devising an exhibition proposal – based on a University essay I wrote – and am in discussion with a major London institution to host it.


Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or better, usually in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path or who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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